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How to beat energy drop on sportives

starbuckstarbuck Posts: 256
edited August 2013 in Training, fitness and health
There's a week and a half until the mega meon. I am doing the short ride of 55 miles.

When I rode the new forest spring sportive in April (the very wet day), I found about half way my energy dropped, and I struggled with a lack of pace for the rest of the ride.

I know the best way to beat these energy drops is to increase my endurance overall, but are there any tips anyone can give me that can help on the day?

Is there anything I can drink/eat which will help keep me going?

What can I do longer term to increase my endurance?

My normal sportive ride are in the 50-60 mile range, and I want to start increasing this so eventually, towards the end of the season I'll be able to do 80-100 mile rides without too much of a problem.
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Posts

  • Hmm, tough one this.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • bucklesbuckles Posts: 694
    Carbs & caffeine in the short term

    Training in the long term
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  • Dave_P1Dave_P1 Posts: 565
    Pace yourself from the start and make sure you are eating and drinking enough through out the event.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,350
    For a relatively short ride it's unlikely to be a lack of food that's causing this (unless you fail to eat anything decent before the ride itself).

    So in the short-term I'd focus on pacing yourself better, and trying to conserve energy by riding in a bunch.
  • zardozzardoz Posts: 251
    In the short term better pace management. In the long term more training. At the halfway point of a 55 mile ride its unlikely to be down to food.
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    Time wise - when did the energy drop occur? At sensible pace you should have between 1 annd 2 hours of stored carbs in your body if you are rested and eaten right the night before - but this depends greatly on your training (ability to store glycogen/carbs) body size, sex etc.
    Pacing is crucial on long events - starting even slightly too quickly means you will bottom your reserves quickly and then there is little you can do except drop the pace. As others have said, good pacing (for you - which might mean skipping a fast group), eat & drink before needing to (a littlle at a time but you shouldn't need more than 60g /240kcal carbs per timme) should see you through the event.
    In the long run increase your training miles gradually, and do some intervals to improve your speed.
  • robpowrobpow Posts: 10
    Good advice above. Btw timme = hour for those unfortunate not to speak Swedish :)
  • Wrath RobWrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    Time wise - when did the energy drop occur? At sensible pace you should have between 1 annd 2 hours of stored carbs in your body if you are rested and eaten right the night before - but this depends greatly on your training (ability to store glycogen/carbs) body size, sex etc.
    It also depends on the intensity of the exercise. If you keep to a very low intensity then you'll be able to go longer on less food as your body metabolises fat to supply the energy needs, rather than glycogen. As you increase the intensity your ability to metabolise fat maxes out and you use more and more glycogen to meet the energy demand.

    However, unless you're riding your 55 mile sportive hard then as others have said, your problems are more likely a lack of fitness rather than not eating right. Its relatively easy to fix, just get out there and ride more!
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    robpow wrote:
    Good advice above. Btw timme = hour for those unfortunate not to speak Swedish :)
    YEah thats right - but where did i write timme? Sorry! :lol:
  • trekvettrekvet Posts: 220
    For 50 miles I do this:
    Drink well the evening before and again if you get up to pee at 3-4am.
    2hrs. to go: half a porridge serving, nuts, honey, and banana.
    1hr: 750mls energy drink (500 High5 or GO + 250RedBull)
    30mins: small glass milk.
    2mins: 1 gel with caffeine.
    On ride take 750mls. x2 energy drink with pinch salt (drink by 25mls.) and 750 x 2 powders + pinches salt and electrolyte tablets all in two sandwich bags to add at the 25 refreshment stop. 2 gels (one without caffeine use by 25mls.)
    At 25miles refill bottles adding powders, salt, electrolyte tabs. Half way back have last gel. Make sure bottles are emptied by couple miles from home.
    Something like that, anyway have no trouble with 50mls even when wife says it too hot to ride :)
    The Wife complained for months about the empty pot of bike oil on the hall stand; so I replaced it with a full one.
  • zardozzardoz Posts: 251
    I would say that this is OTT for a 50 mile ride.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,256
    TrekVet wrote:
    For 50 miles I do this:
    Drink well the evening before and again if you get up to pee at 3-4am.
    2hrs. to go: half a porridge serving, nuts, honey, and banana.
    1hr: 750mls energy drink (500 High5 or GO + 250RedBull)
    30mins: small glass milk.
    2mins: 1 gel with caffeine.
    On ride take 750mls. x2 energy drink with pinch salt (drink by 25mls.) and 750 x 2 powders + pinches salt and electrolyte tablets all in two sandwich bags to add at the 25 refreshment stop. 2 gels (one without caffeine use by 25mls.)
    At 25miles refill bottles adding powders, salt, electrolyte tabs. Half way back have last gel. Make sure bottles are emptied by couple miles from home.
    Something like that, anyway have no trouble with 50mls even when wife says it too hot to ride :)

    All that just for a 50?
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,350
    That sounds mad. Conservative estimate there you're probably consuming in excess of 2,000 calories, all for a 50 mile ride that would probably see you burning quite a bit less than 2,000 calories. Quite an achievement, but with all the water you'll be drinking I'd be amazed if you didn't come back heavier than when you started.
  • I'd like to hear more from 'TrekVet' :lol:
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • doug5_10doug5_10 Posts: 465
    Maybe for 50 miles on a fat sand bike in the Sahara?

    My prep for a ride of any length:
    Don't get pissed the night before
    Bit of breakie and a coffee
    Have a dump
    One water bidon, one sugar/salt/squash
    Relevant amount of grub in the pocket
    Realise need another dump after putting on chamois cream :wink:
    Edinburgh Revolution Curve
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/1920048
  • bucklesbuckles Posts: 694
    I think he was joking
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  • ivanoileivanoile Posts: 202
    Don't think about it,because if you think then it will come much faster.Just think about somethin else,mentaly you will need to be strong.
    And eat and drink often,because when you feel drop it will be to late to eat(maybe those gels will help,but I don't use them)
  • Wrath RobWrath Rob Posts: 2,918
    doug5_10 wrote:
    Maybe for 50 miles on a fat sand bike in the Sahara?

    My prep for a ride of any length:
    Don't get pissed the night before
    Bit of breakie and a coffee
    Have a dump
    One water bidon, one sugar/salt/squash
    Relevant amount of grub in the pocket
    Realise need another dump after putting on chamois cream :wink:
    as a morning routine that sounds disturbingly familiar, especially the last step :oops:
    FCN3: Titanium Qoroz.
  • Tb2121Tb2121 Posts: 73
    Train- its the only way. Forget about eating gels and bars during the ride- keep hydrated, take a banana- but expect the fall off to happen- this stress on the body is a training aid- it lets you know your limit- then take that limit (miles/miles achieved per hour)- cut it by 20% and start training from that.

    We see pro-peloton racers eating during a race because they are hitting a constant 27mph over 5-7 hours with climbs of 6% for long periods- they don't carry any body fat- they know their HR limits and fatigue signs- they have to do it over a 21 day period- subsequently they need to eat.

    Your average sportive rider is overweight, not fit to last the full distance, can't sit at a constant pace and are on the bike 2-4 hours, plus they get at least 5 rest days after! Subsequently expect the energy drop and use it to your advantage- you can't fool your body. The real crazy thing is- is that if anyone has ridden through an energy drop with just maintaining hydration your body (in its infinite wisdom) will start to metabolise fat and after 20minutes of real struggle you'll start to pull out of the drop and find extra speed and power- this is how you lose weight- due to the amazing organ- the pancreas. By stacking up on bars/complex carbs at the drop point- your body and especially your pancreas- say sod it he's just fed me- and so the weight loss is not going to happen.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    I have somewhat the same problem.

    Have a good sized breakfast and they head out on my ride. After about an hour I have a bit of food (e.g. museli bar) but then after 15-20 miles I end up feeling really really tired. Which lasts for a good half hour or so, before I pick up again and I'm good until about 60 miles when I reach my natural limit.

    I'm always so tired, if I didn't know I'd get past it I would ride home.
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    Lets put this into context.

    At the weekend I rode 65 miles at 21mph average - just over 3 hours, with 2 bottles of drink (one water, one squash) and half way through I ate one powerbar.

    I could of done it without the bar if I had really wanted.
  • zardozzardoz Posts: 251
    AK_jnr wrote:
    Lets put this into context.

    At the weekend I rode 65 miles at 21mph average - just over 3 hours, with 2 bottles of drink (one water, one squash) and half way through I ate one powerbar.

    I could have done it without the bar if I had really wanted.

    Well Whoopty Doo good for you.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    AK_jnr wrote:
    Lets put this into context.

    At the weekend I rode 65 miles at 21mph average - just over 3 hours, with 2 bottles of drink (one water, one squash) and half way through I ate one powerbar.

    I could have done it without the bar if I had really wanted.

    That's nice then.
  • Tb2121Tb2121 Posts: 73
    AK_jnr wrote:
    Lets put this into context.

    At the weekend I rode 65 miles at 21mph average - just over 3 hours, with 2 bottles of drink (one water, one squash) and half way through I ate one powerbar.

    I could have done it without the bar if I had really wanted.

    It might be whoop de do good- Akjnr has a point- how did he get there to manage this- training- there are no short cuts to beating the energy drop- you have to put in the hard yards to get a 21mph average over 65 miles- I think that was his message. Context is important the OP wants to beat the energy drop- AKjnr has demonstrated that with his ride- the OP just has to train to get there.
  • Tb2121Tb2121 Posts: 73
    I have somewhat the same problem.

    Have a good sized breakfast and they head out on my ride. After about an hour I have a bit of food (e.g. museli bar) but then after 15-20 miles I end up feeling really really tired. Which lasts for a good half hour or so, before I pick up again and I'm good until about 60 miles when I reach my natural limit.

    I'm always so tired, if I didn't know I'd get past it I would ride home.

    If you are tired in the first 15 miles- check what you are having for breakfst is not causing this- alot of people think huge amount of carbs are the pre-requisite for a long ride- this WILL make you tired initially- mixing it up with some glucose/caffeine/protein/carbs would be better for preventing this to occur- for example- eggs/toast/coffee with a small brown sugar.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Tb2121 wrote:

    If you are tired in the first 15 miles- check what you are having for breakfst is not causing this- alot of people think huge amount of carbs are the pre-requisite for a long ride- this WILL make you tired initially- mixing it up with some glucose/caffeine/protein/carbs would be better for preventing this to occur- for example- eggs/toast/coffee with a small brown sugar.


    Well I'm not tired *in* the first 15 miles, just at some point after that, more often around 25 miles or so.

    For breakfast I'd usually have:
    Glass of orange juice
    Cereal with full fat milk (perhaps 2x variety packs)
    Toasted cheese sandwich (2 slices of bread)

    Taking with me I'd usually have, small bag of sweets, a cheese sandwhich (2 slices of bread), museli bar, energy gel.

    I *think* my issue might be that I'm not eating soon enough, i.e. not until about 20 miles in, but there might be more to it?

    And I know some people can go 100 miles on half a pint of water in a jelly baby, but doesn't help me I'm afraid :(
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    Thanks for disregarding my help. I'll be blunt then;

    Your not fit enough.



    Oh and your breakfast is awful as well. Cheese toasty as well as a couple of boxes of sugar? And a cheese sandwich during the ride? Lol.


    Oh and your not fit enough, did I mention that?
  • essjaydeeessjaydee Posts: 917
    Some good info here http://highfive.co.uk/high5-faster-and-further/road-cycling-nutrition-guides/sportive

    I used their products and followed the guide closely on a recent 80 mile ride, and I felt very strong the whole time and certainly had more energy up the hills. I've never 'caffeine loaded' before a ride, other than having a coffee first thing, but am fairly convinced it helped, and I will try it again this weekend when I next get out for a longer ride :D
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    AK_jnr wrote:
    Thanks for disregarding my help. I'll be blunt then;

    Your not fit enough.



    Oh and your breakfast is awful as well. Cheese toasty as well as a couple of boxes of sugar? And a cheese sandwich during the ride? Lol.


    Oh and your not fit enough, did I mention that?

    Thanks for your helpful advice. I shall give up now since I do not live up to your ideals.
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    I'm not trying to be funny - but there is a chance you are actually eating TOO MUCH - when you're exercising hard having too much (or the wrong ) food in your stomach will mean a lot of energy goes to digesting instead of cycling! So starting off with a 'good' breakfast that takes time to digest will both 'steal' energy from your legs and also take a long time to get out to your muscles.
    The solution is to either eat well in advance of cycling (often a good evening meal is a better idea than a hearty breakfast if you're riding a long way) or eat a simple breakfast with little fat and protein and get riding straight away.
    Similarly eat some quick carbs on your ride - bananas, dried fruit, jam sarnies without butter etc. but you shouldn't need /probablty can't absorb more than at most 240 kcal an hour (60g carbs). And as others have said - get fitter - but that is not something you can do overnight. Good luck!
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